1. Relating to or characteristic of Scotland, its people, languages, culture, institutions, etc.: Scots traditions, the Scots language. Although in certain uses (Scots law, Scots thistle, a Scots mile, a pound Scots) the adjective has never gone out of favour, in other uses its popularity declined after the mid-18c in competition with Scottish and Scotch, reviving when Scotch fell into disfavour in the 19–20c.
2. A name for both GAELIC and the form of NORTHERN ENGLISH used in Scotland. The forms Scottis, Scotis and the LATIN adjectives Scotticus, Scoticus down to the 15c applied only to Gaelic and its speakers and have occasionally been so used since. From 1494, the term was increasingly applied to the Lowland speech, previously known as INGLIS, so as to distinguish it from the language of England. From then on, this was the regular application of the term, and until the early 18c SCOTS and INGLIS or English were more or less interchangeable: ‘They decided not to disjoin but to continue the Scots or English classe in the gramer school as formerly’ (Stirling Burgh Records, 23 Aug. 1718).
The status of ScotsScholars and other interested persons have difficulty agreeing on the linguistic, historical, and social status of Scots. Generally, it is seen as one of the ancient DIALECTS of English, yet it has distinct and ancient dialects of its own. Sometimes it has been little more than an overspill noted in the discussion of English as part of the story of England. Sometimes it has been called the English of Scotland, part of GENERAL ENGLISH yet often in contrast with it, and different from the STANDARD ENGLISH taught in Scottish schools. Sometimes, it has been called a Germanic language in its own right, considered as distinct from its sister in England in the same way that Swedish is distinct from DANISH. In addition, in its subordinate relationship with the English of England, its position has been compared to FRISIAN in the Netherlands (dominated by Dutch) and Norwegian (once dominated by Danish). In The Languages of Britain (1984), Glanville Price notes:
In planning and writing this book, I have changed my mind four times, and, in the end, I devote a separate chapter to Scots not because I necessarily accept that it is a ‘language’ rather than a ‘dialect’ but because it has proved to be more convenient to handle it thus than include some treatment of it in the chapter on English.
Scots has since the beginning of the 18c been the object of scholarly investigation and those scholars who have specialized in its study divide its history into three periods: Old English (to 1100); Older Scots (1100–1700), divided into Early Scots (1100–1450) and Middle Scots (1450–1700); Modern Scots (1700 onwards).
The King's ScotsThe first source of Scots dates from the 7c. It was the Old English of the kingdom of Bernicia, part of which lay in what is now southern Scotland: see NORTHUMBRIA. The second source was the Scandinavian-influenced English of immigrants from Northern and Midland England in the 12–13c, who travelled north at the invitation of the Anglo-Normanized kings of Scots. By the 14c, the variety of Northern English which had crystallized out of these sources (known to its speakers as Inglis) had supplanted Gaelic and CUMBRIC, languages formerly spoken in much of what is now Lowland Scotland. In Caithness, Orkney, and Shetland, however, the form of Norse known as NORN continued in use for some time. From the late 14c also, Latin began to be overtaken by Scots as the language of record and literature, a process well advanced by the early 16c, by which time it had become the national language of Stewart Scotland.
AnglicizationBy the mid-16c, Scots had begun to undergo Anglicization, southern English word forms and spellings progressively invading written and later spoken Scots. Among the conditions favouring this trend was Protestant reliance (before and after the Reformation of 1560) on Bibles in English. By the late 16c, all Scots writing was in a mixed dialect, in which native Scots spellings and spelling symbols co-occurred with English borrowings: aith/oath, ony/any, gude/good, quh-/wh-, sch-/sh-, Scots ei, English ee, ea, with the English forms gradually gaining in popularity. Scots elements virtually disappeared from published writings in Scotland before the end of the 17c, except for VERNACULAR literature. The elimination of Scots from unpublished writings like local records took some decades longer. Early in the 18c, Sir Robert Sibbald distinguished three sorts of Scottish speech: ‘that Language we call BROAD Scots, which is yet used by the Vulgar … in distinction to the Highlanders Language, and the refined Language of the Gentry, which the more Polite People among us do use’. That ‘refined language’, however, was no longer Scots but the ancestor of SCOTTISH ENGLISH.
ScotticismsAccording to the Augustan ideals of good taste and propriety, shared by cultivated people in the 18c in both England and Scotland, the residue of Scots in the English of Scottish people was deplored as ‘provincial’ and ‘unrefined’. This led many of the gentry and intelligentsia to try to rid themselves of all traces of their former national tongue by attending lectures on English elocution held in Edinburgh from 1748. In addition, from the late 17c they made great efforts to eradicate Scotticism from their writing and speech. Not all educated 18c Scots, however, accepted these propositions. From early in the century, a new literary Scots, which unlike most literary Middle Scots was based on upto-date colloquial speech, burgeoned in the writings of Allan Ramsay (1686–1758) and some of his contemporaries, and such successors as Robert BURNS. This stream of vernacular literature in Scots was accompanied early in the 19c by a revival of interest in and approval of Modern Scots among the middle and upper classes, inspired to some extent by John Jamieson's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (1808). Scots was now generally accepted as a rich and expressive tongue and recognized as the ‘national language’, albeit (as had been repeatedly stated since 1763 or earlier) ‘going out as a spoken tongue every year’.
Revival and survivalThe need was now felt to record the old language before it was too late, as in Jamieson's dictionary, or to undertake the preservation or even restoration of Scots. In the 20c, this has manifested itself inter alia in the creation of LALLANS or Synthetic Scots by the Scottish Renaissance writers from c.1920, and in a sustained output in recent decades of narrative, expository, and even some transactional prose in Scots, notably in the Scots Language Society's journal Lallans (1973– ). From the early 18c to the present day, appeals in English prose or Scots verse have been made to Scots to speak their own language rather than Southron. Such activity has helped maintain the Scottish people's linguistic loyalty to their ‘own dying language’ ( Robert Louis Stevenson, 1887) and has helped to slow the drift away from native Scots elements at all levels of speech. But it could not reverse the trend which favours English as the language of power and prestige or restore the full Scots of a dwindling minority of rural speakers to its former central position. Even after its 20c renaissance, Scots remains restricted to a narrow sphere of literary uses and it makes only a marginal appearance in the media, in comic strips, cartoons, jokes and columns in the popular and local press. None the less, although English is dominant, it remains permeated with features from Scots.
Pronunciation(1) Like other Northern dialects, Scots displays the results of many early divergences from the Midland and Southern dialects of MIDDLE ENGLISH: hame, stane, sair, gae as against home, stone, sore, go; hoose, oot, doon, coo as against house, out, down, cow; baw, saut against ball, salt; gowd, gowf as against gold, golf; mouter as against multure; fou as against full; and buit, guid, muin, puir, dui (or with some other front vowel, depending on dialect) as against boot, good, moon, poor, do: see DIALECT IN SCOTLAND. (2) Of the features largely exclusive to Scots (in Scotland and Ulster), the most pervasive is the Scottish vowel length rule, the most striking result of which is the split of Early Scots /iː/ into two phonemes in Scots and ScoE: /aɪ/ in ay (yes), buy, alive, rise, tied, and /əɪ/ in aye (always), life, rice, bite, tide. (3) The consonant system retains the OLD ENGLISH voiceless velar fricative /x/ in teuch, heich (equivalents of tough, high) and many other words (including such Gaelic loans as clarsach, loch, pibroch), and the cluster /xt/ in dochter, nicht (daughter, night). Such forms were once universal in English and have only become obsolete in Northern England in recent decades.
SpellingBy the late 14c, Older Scots was developing its own distinctive orthography, marked by such features as quh- (English wh-), -ch (English -gh), sch- (English sh-), and the use of i/y as in ai/ay, ei/ey to identify certain vowels: compare Scots quheyll, heych, scheip, heid, heyd with English wheel, high, sheep, heed, head. Following the Anglicization of the 16–17c, the literary Scots of Allan Ramsay and his contemporaries and successors in the 18c had discarded some of these forms but retained others, including ei as in heid (head), ui or u–e as in guid/gude (good), and ch as in loch, thocht (loch, thought). This orthography, however, was in the main an adaptation of English orthography to represent Scots, as is shown by the free use of apostrophes to mark ‘missing’ letters. Unlike English, but like Older Scots, it is tolerant of spelling variation; attempts to regulate this, notably through the Scots Style Sheet of the Makars' Club (1947), have had only limited success. The Concise Scots Dictionary records many spelling variants such as breid, brede, bread, braid (bread), and heuk, huke, hook (hook), and the larger Scots dictionaries record very many more.
Morphology(1) The regular past form of the verb is -it or -t/(e)d, according to the preceding consonant or vowel: hurtit, skelpit smacked, mendit, kent/kenned knew/known, cleant/cleaned, tellt/tauld told, deed died. (2) Some verbs have distinctive principal parts: greet/grat/grutten weep/wept, fesh/fuish/fuishen fetch/fetched, lauch/leuch/lauchen laugh/laughed, gae/gaed/gane go/went, gie/gied/gien give/gave/given. (3) A set of irregular noun plurals: eye/een eye/eyes, cauf/caur calf/calves, horse/horse horse/horses, coo/kye cow/cows (compare archaic English kine), shoe, shae, shee/shuin, sheen shoe/shoes (compare archaic English shoon). (4) Nouns of measure and quantity unchanged in the plural: four fuit foot, twa mile, five pund pound, three hunderwecht hundredweight. (5) A third deictic adjective/adverb yon/yonder, thon/thonder (that and those there, at some distance): D'ye see yon/thon hoose ower yonder/thonder? (6) Ordinal numbers ending in -t: fourt, fift, saxt/sixt, etc. (7) Adverbs in -s, -lies, -lin(g)s, gate(s), and way(s), -wye, -wey(s): whiles at times, maybes perhaps, brawlies splendidly, geylies pretty well, aiblins perhaps, arselins backwards, halfins partly, hidlins secretly, maistlins almost, a'gates always, everywhere, ilka gate everywhere, onygate anyhow, ilkawye everywhere, onyway(s) anyhow, anywhere, endweys straight ahead, whit wey how, why. (8) Diminutives and associated forms: in -ie/y (burnie small burn brook, feardie/feartie frightened person, coward, gamie gamekeeper, kiltie kilted soldier, postie postman, wifie wife, rhodie rhododendron), in -ock (bittock little bit, playock toy, plaything, sourock sorrel) and chiefly Northern -ag (bairnag little bairn child, Cheordag Geordie), -ockie, -ickie (hoosickie small house, wifeockie little wife). Note the five times diminished a little wee bit lassockie.
Syntax and idiom(1) Verbs in the present tense are as in English when a single personal pronoun is next to the verb; otherwise, they end in -s in all persons and numbers: They say he's owre auld, Thaim that says he's owre auld, Thir laddies says he's owre auld They say he's too old, etc.; They're comin as weel but Five o them's comin; The laddies?—They've went but Ma brakes has went. (2) Was or wis may replace were, but not conversely as in some Northern English dialects: You were/wis there. (3) The MODAL VERBS may, ocht to ought to, and (except in Orkney and Shetland) sall shall, are rare or absent in informal speech, but occur in literary Scots. They are replaced respectively by can, should, and will. May and shall are similarly missing from most ScoE. (4) Scots, like NORTHERN ENGLISH, employs double modal constructions: He'll no can come the day He won't be able to come today, Ah micht could come the morn I might be able to come tomorrow, Ah used tae could dae it, but no noo I could do it once, but not now. (5) There are progressive uses of certain verbs: He wis thinkin he wid tell her; He wis wantin tae tell her. (6) Verbless subordinate clauses that express surprise or indignation are introduced by and: She had tae walk the hale lenth o the road and her seeven month pregnant; He tellt me tae run and me wi ma sair leg (and me with my sore leg). (7) Negation is mostly as in English, either by the adverb no (North-East nae), as in Ah'm no comin I'm not coming, or by the enclitic -na/nae (depending on dialect, and equivalent to -n't), as in Ah dinna ken I don't know, They canna come, They can't come, We couldna hae tellt him We couldn't have told him, and Ah huvna seen her I haven't seen her. With auxiliary verbs which can be contracted, however, such as -ve for have and -ll for will, or in yes–no questions with any auxiliary, Scots strongly prefers the usage with the adverb to that with the enclitic: He'll no come rather than He winna come, and Did he no come? to the virtual exclusion of Didna he come? (8) The relative pronoun is that for all persons and numbers, and may be elided: There's no mony folk (that) lives in that glen There aren't many people who live in that glen. The forms wha, wham, whase, whilk (who, whom, whose, which) are literary, the last of these used only after a statement: He said he'd lost it, whilk wis no whit we wantit tae hear. That is made possessive by 's or appending an appropriate pronoun: The man that's hoose got burnt; the wumman that her dochter got mairrit; the crew that thair boat wis lost. (9) Verbs of motion may be dropped before an adverb or adverbial phrase of motion: Ah'm awa tae ma bed; That's me awa hame; Ah'll intae the hoose and see him. (10) Like Northern English, Scots prefers the order He turned oot the licht to He turned the light out and Gie me it to Give it me.
VocabularyThe vocabularies of Scots and English overlap, but Scots contains words that are absent from the standard language, either shared with the dialects of Northern England, or unique to Scotland. The sources of the distinctive elements of Scots vocabulary include Old English, Old NORSE, FRENCH, DUTCH, and Gaelic.
Old English.(1) Not now shared with any dialect of England are such forms as: but an ben a two-room cottage, but the outer room, ben the inner room, cleuch a gorge, haffet the cheek, skeich (of a horse) apt to shy, swick to cheat. (2) Shared with (especially Northern) dialects of England: bairn a child, bide to stay or live (in a place), dicht to clean, dwam a stupor, hauch a riverside meadow, heuch a steep hill, rax to stretch, snell (of weather) bitter, severe, speir to ask, thole to endure. (3) Now in general or literary English: bannock, eldritch, fey, gloaming, raid, wee, weird, wizened. Weird and fey also have the original senses ‘destiny’ and ‘fated to die’. To dree yir ain weird means ‘to endure what is destined for you’.
Norse.The Scandinavian element, introduced by 12–13c immigrants from Northern England, is generally shared with the Northern dialects, but some words that are obsolete there survive in Scots and ScoE: ain own (ma ain my own), aye always, big to build, blae blue (whence blaeberry), blether to chatter, brae slope of a hill, cleg a gadfly, eident diligent, ferlie a wonder, gate a road (also in street names: Gallowgate, in Glasgow), gowk a cuckoo, graith equip, equipment, kirk church, lass a girl, lowp to jump, lug ear. This element includes the auxiliary verbs gar to make or cause to do (It wad gar ye greet It would make you weep) and maun must (Ah maun find her I must find her, and the proverb He that will tae Cupar maun tae Cupar Scots equivalent of ‘A wilful man must have his way’). Most of this is also shared by the dialects of Shetland, Orkney, and Caithness, which have in addition their own distinct vocabulary descended from Norn.
FrenchInfluence from French was first through the Anglo-Norman baronage of 12–13c Scotland and the Frenchified literary and fashionable culture of medieval Britain, then partly as a result of the Auld Alliance (Franco-Scottish Alliance, 1296–1560), and partly from Scots travelling and living in France and Switzerland in medieval and later times: (1) Shared with early English but surviving only in Scots: causey the paved part of a street (cognate with causeway), cowp to capsize or upset (from couper to cut, strike) cummer a godmother (from commère), douce (originally of a woman or manners) sweet (from doux/douce), houlet owl (from hulotte), leal (a doublet of loyal and legal), tass/tassie cup (from tasse). (2) Virtually exclusively Scots: ashet a serving dish (from assiette), disjune breakfast (from desjun, now dejeuner), fash to bother (from fâcher), Hogmanay (from Old French aguillanneuf a New Year's gift), sybow/sybie the spring onion (from Old French ciboule), vennel an alley (from Old French venelle). (3) Shared from the 17c with English: caddie, croup (the disease), pony.
Dutch.The population of medieval Scotland included Flemish landowners in the countryside, wool merchants, weavers, and other craftsmen in the burghs, and trade with The Netherlands dates from the same period. Borrowings from medieval Dutch or Flemish include: callan a lad, coft bought, cowk to retch, cuit an ankle, groff coarse in grain or quality, howf a favourite haunt, public house (from hof a courtyard), loun (‘loon’) a lad, mutch a kind of woman's cap, mutchkin a quarter of a Scots pint, pinkie the little finger (passed on to AmE), trauchle to overburden, harass. The words croon, golf, scone have been passed on to English at large.
Gaelic.(1) Early borrowings, from around the 12c to the 17c, many of which have passed on into English: bog, cairn a pile of stones as a landmark, capercailzie the wood grouse, clachan a hamlet, clan, clarsach the Highland harp, cranreuch hoar frost, glen, ingle a hearth-fire, loch, partan the common crab, ptarmigan an Arctic grouse, slogan originally a war cry, sonse plenty, prosperity (whence sonsy hearty, comely, buxom), strath a wide valley, tocher a dowry. (2) From the 17c onward, also often passing into English: ben a mountain, brogue a Highlander's shoe, claymore a Highland sword, corrie a cirque or circular hollow on a mountainside, gillie a hunting attendant, golach an earwig, pibroch solo bagpipe music, sporran a purse worn in front of a kilt, whisky. (3) From the late 19c onward: ceilidh (‘cayly’) an informal musical party, Gaidhealtachd the area where Gaelic is spoken, slàinte (‘slanch’) health and slàintemhath (‘slanche-va’) good health (said as a toast).
Latin.The distinctive vocabularies of education, the Church, and especially law in Scotland are largely Latin: see SCOTTISH ENGLISH. From the classroom a little schoolboy Latin has trickled into Scots since the 15c or earlier: dominie schoolmaster, dux best pupil in a school or a class, fugie a runaway, truant, janitor a school caretaker, pandie a stroke on the palm with a cane, etc. (from Latin pande manum stretch out your hand: also palmie), vacance vacation, holiday, vaig and stravaig wander aimlessly.
Echoisms, reduplications, and others(1) Words of uncertain origin but with a distinct onomatopoeic element include: birl to whirl, daud a thump or lump, dunt a thump, sclaff to slap, skrauch and skreich to shriek, wheech to move in a rush, yatter to chatter. (2) Scots has many widely used reduplicative words, such as clishclash and clishmaclaver idle talk, gossip, easy-osy easy-going, eeksie-peeksie six and half a dozen, the hale jingbang the whole caboodle, joukerie-pawkerie trickery, mixter-maxter all mixed up. (3) Combinations and fanciful formations: bletherskate an incessant talker, camshauchle distorted, carnaptious quarrelsome, carfuffle a commotion (passed into English), collieshangie a noisy squabble, sculduddery fornication (whence AmE skullduggery), tapsalteerie topsyturvy, and whigmaleerie a trifle, whim.
Iteratives, intensives, and others.(1) Iteratives and intensives: donner to daze (whence donnert stupid), scunner to disgust, and someone or something disgusting (from the root of shun: also Northern English), scowder to scorch (cognate with scald), shauchle to shuffle, shoogle to joggle or shake. (2) Common words of various derivations, some obscure: bogle a ghost (perhaps of Celtic origin: note tattie-bogle ‘a potato bogle’, a scare-crow), bonny or bonnie handsome, beautiful (perhaps from French bon good), braw fine, excellent (perhaps a variant of brave), collie a sheepdog (now in general use in English), couthy homely/homey, congenial (from couth known: compare uncouth), eerie fearful, ghostly (now general), glaikit foolish (from glaik trick, deceit, flash), glamour a spell (now general, for a special kind of magic: a doublet of grammar), gowkit or gukkit foolish (perhaps from the guk-guk call of the gowk or cuckoo), glaur mud, glower to stare (now general), gomerel a fook, gumption get-up-and-go, guts (now general). (3) Recent creations: bangshoot caboodle (compare jingbang, above), bletheration foolish talk (see blether, above), duffie/yuffie a water closet, fantoosh flashy (probably a play on fancy and fantastic), gallus mischievous, heidbanger a madman, high-heid-yin (‘high-head-one’) boss, manager, laldie a thrashing, multy a multi-storey tenement, sapsy soppy, effeminate, scheme (clipping ‘housing scheme’) a local-authority housing estate, skoosh to gush, fizzy drink, squeegee askew.
Literary ScotsAlready in Middle Scots, literary and official prose had grown archaic in comparison with contemporary speech, and spoken innovations therefore largely fail to appear in writing, apart from comic verse and passages of quoted dialogue in law-court records. These last show novel forms such as fow for full, mow for mouth, ha and gie (later hae and gie) for have and give, and such new coinages as glower (to stare) and glaikit (foolish). The following passage illustrates polished 16c literary prose:
The samyn tyme happynnit ane wounderfull thing. Quhen Makbeth and Banquho war passand to Fores, quhair King Duncan wes for the tyme, thai mett be the gaitt thre weird sisteris or wiches, quhilk come to thame with elrege clething (from John Bellenden's translation, c.1531 of Hector Boece's Latin Chronicles of Scotland, 1527
[Translation: At that time a wonderful thing happened. When Macbeth and Banquo were on their way to Forres, where King Duncan was at the time, they met by the roadside three ‘sisters of fate’ or witches, who approached them in unearthly (eldritch) garments.]In the 20c, literary Scots of the variety that includes Lallans and the language of W. L. Lorimer's The New Testament in Scots similarly differs from colloquial varieties. It draws its typical word forms, vocabulary, and grammar from an archaic, more or less non-local, variety of Central Scots, retaining for example obsolete or obsolescent uses of modal verbs and negatives and such archaisms as aiblins perhaps, descryve describe, leed/leid a language, lift sky, swith quickly, and virr strength. It also sometimes employs a stilted, non-colloquial, English-like syntax. Occasionally, false analogies produce forms and usages that have no Scots pedigree: ainer an owner, aipen open, raim to roam, delicht delight, tae too (whose Scots equivalent is owre).
The following passages exemplify Modern Scots since the 18c, in works of wide currency within ‘English literature’:O! 'its a pleasant thing to be a bride;
Syne whindging getts about your ingleside,
Yelping for this or that with fasheous din,
To mak them brats then ye maun toil and spin.
( Allan Ramsay , from the The Gentle Shepherd, 1725)
‘Weel, weel,’ and Mr. Jarvie, ‘bluid's thicker than water; and it liesna in kith, kin and ally, to see motes in ilk other's een if other een see them no. It wad be sair news to the auld wife below the Ben of Stuckavrallachan, that you, ye Hieland limmer, had knockit out my harns, or that I had kilted you up in a tow’(
Walter Scott, from Rob Roy, 1817).
Faith, when it came there was more to remember in Segget that year than Armistice only. There was better kittle in the story of what happened to Jim the Sourock on Armistice Eve. He was aye sore troubled with his stomach, Jim, he'd twist his face as he'd hand you a dram, and a man would nearly lose nerve as he looked—had you given the creature a bad shilling or what? But syne he would rub his hand slow on his wame, It's the pains in my breast that I've gotten again; and he said that they were fair awful sometimes, like a meikle worm moving and wriggling in there (
Lewis Grassic Gibbon, from Cloud Howe, second in the trilogy A Scots Quair, 1932–4).
ConclusionA wide linguistic distance lies between Scots and standard English, the poles of speech in most of Scotland. By and large, spoken and written Scots are difficult for non-speakers, and require an investment of effort. As a result, use of Scots in mixed company can make ‘monolingual’ English speakers feel excluded. In the larger European context, the situation of Scots resembles that of FRISIAN in the Netherlands, Nynorsk in Norwegian, Occitan in relation to French in France, and Catalan in relation to Spanish in Spain. Scots is the SUBSTRATUM of general English in Scotland; most Scots use mixed varieties, and ‘full’ traditional Scots is now spoken by only a few rural people. None the less, despite stigmatization in school, neglect by officialdom, and marginalization in the media, people of all backgrounds have since the 16c insisted on regarding the guid Scots tongue as their national language. See BORROWING, DORIC, EDINBURGH, GLASGOW, GUTTER SCOTS, HIGHLAND ENGLISH, ORKNEY AND SHETLAND DIALECTS, ULSTER SCOTS, Z.
LOCATION: United Kingdom (Scotland)
POPULATION: Over 5 million
LANGUAGE: Scottish dialect of English (also called Scots); Gaelic
RELIGION: Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian sect; Roman Catholic; small numbers of Baptists, Anglicans, and Methodists
Scotland is one of four nations that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the other three are England, Wales, and Northern Ireland). A small country— only 442 km (275 mi) long—it covers the northern portion of the island of Great Britain, which it shares with England and Wales. The name Scotland, first used during the 11th century, is derived from the name of a Celtic tribe from Ireland, the Scotti, who settled western Scotland during the 6th century. The Romans called the area Caledonia.
For centuries, social and political life in the northern (Highland) area of Scotland was organized around clans, communities of people with strong family ties, whose powerful chieftains commanded their loyalty in exchange for protecting them from invasion. (Today, the cultural tradition of clans such as MacGregor or MacDonald survives at ceremonial gatherings such as weddings.) The southern areas of the country were much more affected by English patterns of organization. Repeated disputes with the English sometimes led to war, and before the early 14th century, the Scottish were dominated by English monarchs. In 1603 a new era of cooperation began when James VI of Scotland became James I, King of Great Britain. In 1707 the Act of Union made Scotland, together with England and Wales, part of the United Kingdom, sharing a single parliament.
Scotland saw difficult times in the 20th century. The depression of the 1930s wrought havoc on its economy and began an era of unemployment which forced thousands to emigrate in search of a better life. However, the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1960s created as many as 100,000 new jobs, and emigration slowed. As a part of Britain, Scotland joined the European Community (now European Union—EU) in 1973. Since the late 1980s there has been a resurgence of Scottish national sentiment in favor of separation from England. In September 1997 Scotland voted in favor of establishing its own parliament. The 129-seat Scottish Parliament, which saw its first elections in 1999, has the power to increase or cut income taxes by up to 3%. The vote marked the most profound change in Scotland's relationship with the rest of Great Britain since the Act of Union in 1707. As of 2007 there were calls for television production and broadcasting to be devolved to the Scottish parliament, as some saw Scotland as being marginalized by the British broadcasting industry. For example, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had decreased its investment in Scotland by £30 million.
LOCATION AND HOMELAND
Located in the northern part of the island of Great Britain, Scotland can be divided into three principal areas: the South-ern Uplands, a hilly region noted for its sheep-raising industry; the more densely populated Central Lowlands, consisting of flatter, more fertile land; and the Highlands, which account for the northern two-thirds of the country and include lochs (lakes), glens, mountains, and numerous small islands.
Scotland has a population of over 5 million, about three-fourths of whom live in the central Lowland area. Two hundred years ago, almost half the Scottish population lived in the Highlands. Ethnically, most Scots are descended from Celtic tribes that were the original inhabitants of their lands, as well as the Viking, Norman, and English invaders who followed each other in succession. There are fundamental population divisions between Highland and Lowland Scots, as well as between mainland dwellers and those living on the small islands off the coast, such as the Shetlanders and Hebrideans.
Scotland's official language is English, but it is spoken in distinctive dialects and with a unique Scottish accent, or "burr," that is especially prominent in words containing "r" sounds. Scottish English (also called Scots) contains words borrowed from Gaelic, French, Dutch, and Scandinavian languages, and its grammar sometimes differs from that of standard English, as in expressions like "Are you no going?" and "I'm away to bed." Some examples of Scots dialects are Doric, spoken in the northeast, and Lallans, spoken in the southwest (and the dialect of poet Robert Burns). Gaelic is spoken as a second language by less than 2% of the population, mostly in the Highlands and Hebridean islands, although all Scots recognize at least a few words of Gaelic.
|dinnae, cannae, willnae||don't, can't, won't|
|Ah'm fair farfochen.||I'm exhausted.|
|The bairn's a wee bit wabbit.||The child's a little tired.|
The oldest Gaelic songs recount legends of warrior heroes battling Norsemen, magic rowan trees, and monstrous old women living in the sea. There is also a rich folk tradition revolving around belief in fairies and other supernatural forces. The most famous character in Scottish folklore is the dinosaur-like Loch Ness monster. Although this creature has supposedly been seen swimming in the deep by hundreds of people, no scientific evidence of its existence has ever been produced.
The "border ballads" of the southern regions and a wealth of urban folk songs, especially in the Glasgow region, comprise another segment of Scottish folklore.
With about 587,000 members, the Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian sect founded in the 16th century by John Knox, is the country's dominant religion. Commonly known as "the Kirk," it has been Scotland's official religion since 1690. The Roman Catholic Church has about 212,500 members and other trinitarian churches have about 164,000 members. Catholics live mainly on the west coast. Scotland also has smaller populations of Baptists, Anglicans, and Methodists, as well as more modern evangelical sects. Church attendance in Scotland is very low with less than 10% of the population attending regularly.
Aside from the major holidays of the Christian calendar, the Scots celebrate the commemoration of Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, on November 30.
Another unique holiday is the Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) celebration. Until the 1960s, this holiday far outpaced Christmas as the major winter celebration. It involves the ceremony of "first footing," the custom of visiting the homes of friends, neighbors, and even strangers, in the "wee sma' hours" of New Year's Day. Christmas, which was formerly frowned on by the Scottish church and only became a public holiday in 1967, resembles a modern Christmas in England or the U.S., with fir trees, carols, and gift-giving. Scots gather for dinner on Burns Night, January 25, to honor the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Traditionally, the Scottish national dish, haggis, is served as Burns's poem, "Address to a Haggis," is recited. Scottish Quar-ter Day (40 days after Christmas) was a holiday celebrated widely until the 1950s; it is rarely celebrated today.
Interestingly, one of the most important celebrations of the Scottish year is Halloween, on October 31. Like "trick-or-treat-ers" in the United States, Scottish "guisers" go from door to door in costumes asking for candy or money. However, unlike their counterparts in the United States, they must perform a song or poem before receiving their treat. Another possible feature of the Halloween celebration is a party with supernatural themes and decorations such as the Scottish version of the American "jack-o'-lantern": a scooped-out rutabaga called a "neep lantern."
RITES OF PASSAGE
The Scots live in a modern, industrialized, Christian country. Although Scots are relatively casual about the practice of religion, many of the rites of passage that young people undergo are religious rituals, such as baptism, first Communion, confirmation, and marriage. In addition, a student's progress through the education system is marked by many families with graduation parties.
The Scottish are known for their taciturn and reserved manner. It is unusual for Scots to be seen holding hands, kissing, or touching in public. Within the household, however, family members maintain close relationships that include many "inside jokes." The humor of the Scots tends toward the dead-pan and ironic, and they tend to minimize direct expressions of enthusiasm. However, it is also considered unacceptable to criticize others in public, or to discuss personal problems with anyone other than close associates. As a form of greeting, the handshake is less common than in other parts of Britain.
Most Scottish houses have a small garden, and many are built in rows called terraces. Homes built before World War I were generally made of stone (single-story cottages of this type can still be found in some highland areas as well as urban areas), while most newer dwellings are built of brick or concrete blocks. Slate roofs are common, and many houses are covered by a painted coating of cement. Many Scottish houses are protected from harsh winters by the traditional "double door" arrangement: a heavy outer door, a vestibule, and a lighter inner door. Over half of all Scots live in "council houses," low-cost housing built by local authorities. These generally consist of high-rise apartment complexes with small rental units. In the late 20th century, complexes of this type began to give way to terraced housing.
Scotland's National Health Service has significantly raised the country's level of medical care since it was instituted following World War II. However, as of 2007 Scotland was the worst performing small country in Western Europe in terms of health and other factors. The Federation of Small Businesses' annual Index of Wealth compared 10 countries on economic performance, employment rates, health and education. Scotland also fell by one place, to 17th, in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s table of the world's 24 most developed countries. Scotland had the lowest life expectancy in the UK for both men and women in 2007. The figures were 74.2 for men and 79.3 for women, compared to the UK average of 76.6 and 81 years. As well, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2007 Glasgow City was the worst performing local authority area in Scotland, with the poorest record in three of the four indicators: mortality, education, and employment. The leading causes of death in Scotland are heart disease, strokes, and cancer. The Scots smoke more and eat more sugar and fats than any other nationality in Europe.
Scotland has a modern system of highways and two-lane roads totaling some 88,500 km (55,000 mi) of paved roads altogether. In the western Highlands, however, many of the roads are single lanes with periodic passing places. Double-decker buses with an extra passenger level above the normal one are a common sight in cities and towns. The government-run railway system operates both diesel and electric trains and serves all major cities, linking Glasgow and Edinburgh to each other and to London. The mainland and the islands are linked by ferries and air service. Glasgow has a major international airport and Edinburgh and Aberdeen are served by both national and international air services.
FAMILY LI FE
The traditional role of women as laborers in the textile, jute, and fish-processing industries can be traced as early as the 19th century—and the economic independence it brought them has given them a relatively high degree of authority within the family. While traditionally male skilled trades like steelmaking and mining still do not hire female employees, increasing numbers of women are entering the professions, and there are nearly as many women as men at Scotland's colleges and universities. Scots are legally allowed to marry by the age of 16, and many do marry as teenagers, although the early 20s are still the most typical marriage age. Although the divorce rate has risen in Scotland, it is still low relative to the American rate of divorce.
When people throughout the world think of the Scots, most probably picture them in their famous traditional costume, the kilt. However, this skirtlike garment is only worn on ceremonial occasions by Scottish regiments of the British army, by ordinary citizens on formal occasions such as weddings and black-tie dinners, and for traditional festive events such as the Highland Games. Otherwise, the Scots wear standard Western-style clothing. Because of the climate, Scottish clothing tends to be made of heavier fabrics such as wool, including the native tweed . Each of Scotland's clans has its own tartan (or plaid) developed over the centuries—there are at least 300 different designs in all. Women's ceremonial costumes include tartan skirts and white blouses worn under snug black button-down bodices. Between 7 and 10 m (7–10 yds) of wool tartan are required for the average kilt.
The Scottish national dish is haggis, a sausage-like food made from chopped organ meat of a sheep or calf mixed with oatmeal and spices and traditionally boiled in the casing of a sheep's stomach (although today a plastic bag is often used). Dietary staples include oats (in porridge, oatcakes, and other forms) and potatoes, or "tatties." These are commonly eaten as french fries ("chips"), as well as boiled, baked, or mashed. A
side dish of mashed potatoes and rutabaga, called "clapshott," is sometimes served with haggis. The main meal of the day is tea, served at dinnertime, usually around 6:00 PM (the midday meal is called "dinner"). However, in rural areas, the midday meal is still the main one. Besides oatcakes, typical Scottish desserts include shortbread, a rich fruitcake called "Dundee cake," and a New Year's specialty called "black bun."
Despite the information seen in "Living Conditions" above, the Scots remain a well-educated people. Universal education has been an institution in their country for centuries, and Scots read more newspapers than any other European people. About 95% of adult Scots are literate. Their educational system is operated separately from England's. After seven years of primary school, Scottish children attend secondary school for six years. The school day generally ends at 4:00 PM. Many private schools require students to wear uniforms, but they are optional at most other institutions. After secondary school, students can attend one of Scotland's 20 institutions of higher learning, including universities and vocational schools. A great value is placed on higher education, and the universities of St. Andrews, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Glasgow are especially prestigious.
Of all the arts, the Scots have particularly distinguished themselves in the realm of literature, especially poetry and novels. Scotland's most famous poet, Robert Burns, lived and wrote at the end of the 18th century, dying at the age of 37. Writing both poems and songs, he popularized the dialect of his homeland both at home and in England. The poet Lord Byron was born and educated in Aberdeen. Scotland produced the famous philosophers Thomas Carlyle and David Hume, as well as the renowned economist Adam Smith, who became famous for his work, The Wealth of Nations. Scotland's other important writers include two authors of adventure novels, Sir Walter Scott, whose romantic tales often dealt with Scottish history, and Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Arthur Conan Doyle, another Scot, created the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, and his countryman J. M. Barrie authored the play Peter Pan, which has delighted generations of audiences throughout the 20th century. A contemporary Scottish author is fiction writer A.L. Kennedy (born in Dundee, 1965), who is also a stand-up comedienne and an Associate Professor with the Warwick University Creative Writing Program.
Since the 1960s there has been a marked shift in the economy from manufacturing to service industries—including tour-ism, with the service sector accounting for nearly four times the number of jobs as the manufacturing sector. Private services contribute about two-fifths of Scotland's gross domestic product (GDP), while public services account for more than one-fifth. Retail trade also creates many jobs in Scotland. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing make up a very small percentage of the economy. However, Scotland has a unique agricultural tradition, primarily in the Highlands, called crofting. Farmers living on crofts (a term that refers to both their land and to the family home) raise grains or vegetables individually on their own plots of land, and animals communally on a larger grazing area. Today, crofting rarely serves as a primary source of income or food, although some still rely on it for supplementary income. Most manufacturing is concentrated in the Central Lowlands. Important industries include textiles, chemicals, steel, electronics, whiskey, and petroleum products.
The Scottish national sport, soccer (called football), is associated with fierce rivalries between Catholic and Protestant teams that sometimes erupt into violence. The most famous pair of rival teams both belong to Glasgow: Celtic and Rangers, collectively referred to as the "Old Firm." Competition between the Scottish and English teams also arouses a high level of national feeling. The nation's second most popular sport (which it claims to have invented) is golf, which is on record as having been banned by the Scottish king, James II, in 1457. Present-day Scotland boasts over 400 golf courses. Scotland's third favorite sport is rugby, which is similar to American football. Tennis, lawn bowling, skiing, and curling are other popular sports.
ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATION
Many Scots relax after work by watching television programs broadcast by Great Britain's government-owned broadcasting service, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Others visit local bars called pubs (short for public houses), where they can eat, drink, and socialize with friends. Popular outdoor recreation includes fishing, hunting, hiking, and mountain-climbing.
Scottish teenagers have many interests in common with other Western teenagers, such as popular music, clothes, and dating (according to local customs). The presence of fast food restaurants and U.S. television shows and movies are helping to narrow the gap between Scottish teens and their American peers.
FOLK ART, CRAFTS, AND HOBBIES
Crafts such as pottery (especially in the Celtic tradition), hand-knitting, jewelry-making, and weaving are widely practiced.
Scotland has two main traditions of folk song, Gaelic and Lowland Scots. Traditionally, each clan had a bard (a sort of poet/composer) to sing its praises and preserve its musical traditions. Bards commonly memorized as many as 350 different stories and poems. Many Gaelic work songs that were sung as accompaniment to such tasks as milking and harvesting have survived up to modern times. Women cloth-makers traditionally sang "waulking songs" around a narrow table, providing a steady beat for the music by thumping on the table. The most famous feature of Scotland's traditional music is its national instrument, the bagpipe, which is played at weddings and other celebrations, in military marching bands, and as a hobby.
Scotland has a high rate of alcoholism, particularly on the islands of Lewis and Harris. Scots also have the United Kingdom's highest rate of hospitalization for depression. Another problem confronting Scotland is its dwindling population. Unemployment has traditionally been well above the British average, and thousands of people have emigrated to England and other countries in search of better job opportunities. As a result, the birthrate has fallen. In an effort to stem the tide of emigration and its attendant "brain drain" of many of the country's best and brightest, government and industry are cooperating to create new industries.
Women in Scotland have made great gains in equality with men since the 1960s. However, as of 2008 Scotland had one of the highest rates of unwanted pregnancies in Europe. Women made up 89% of single parent families in Scotland and 53% of single parent households are in poverty. In Scotland women in full-time employment still earn on average 75% of the average of their male counterparts.
Regarding homosexuality, the first International Gay Rights Conference was held in Edinburgh in 1974. In 1980 male homosexuality was decriminalized in Scotland (female homosexuality had not previously been criminalized in Scotland). In 2004 the UK passed the Civil Partnership Act, giving same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married heterosexual couples. The first civil partnerships took place in Northern Ireland on 19 December 2005, followed by Scotland on 20 December and then England and Wales on 21 December 2005. Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh have large gay communities.
Cumming, Elizabeth. Hand, Heart and Soul: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland. Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2006.
Fuller, Barbara. Britain. Cultures of the World. London: Marshall Cavendish, 1994.
Grant, Neil. Clans and Tartans of Scotland. New York: New Line Books, 2006.
Gratton, Nancy E. "Lowland Scots." Encyclopedia of World Cultures (Europe). Boston: G. K. Hall, 1992.
Knipe, Ed. "Highland Scots." Encyclopedia of World Cultures (Europe). Boston: G. K. Hall, 1992.
Meek, James. The Land and People of Scotland. New York: Lippincott, 1990.
Montgomerie, Norah. The Folk Tales of Scotland: The Well at the World's End and Other Stories. Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2008.
Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson. Peoples of the World: Western Europeans. Gale Research, 1993.
Porter, Darwin. Frommer's Comprehensive Travel Guide (Scotland '94–'95). New York: Prentice Hall Travel, 1994.
Scotland in Pictures. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1991.
Walking in Scotland. Melbourne, Australia: Lonely Planet, 2001.
—revised by J. Hobby
POPULATION: Over 5 million
LANGUAGE: Scottish dialect of English (also called Scots); Gaelic
RELIGION: Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian sect; Roman Catholic; small numbers of Baptists, Anglicans, and Methodists
1 • INTRODUCTION
Scotland is one of four countries that make up the United Kingdom. (The other three are England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.) Scotland covers the northern part of the island of Great Britain, which it shares with England and Wales.
For centuries, social and political life in the northern (Highland) area of Scotland was organized around clans (communities of people with strong family ties). Chieftains protected clan members from invasion in exchange for their loyalty. (The cultural tradition of clans still exists today at ceremonial gatherings such as weddings.) The southern areas of Scotland were more influenced by English patterns of organization.
Repeated disputes with England sometimes led to war. Before the early fourteenth century, the Scottish were ruled by English monarchs. In 1707 the Act of Union made Scotland, England, and Wales all part of the United Kingdom.
Scotland has seen difficult times in the twentieth century. Extensive unemployment began in the 1930s, forcing thousands to emigrate in search of a better life. Oil was discovered off the North Sea coast in the 1960s. Many new jobs were created as a result, and emigration slowed. Since the 1980s national feeling in favor of separation from England has strengthened. In 1997, Scotland voted to establish its own parliament (government council) by 1999. This change will increase Scotland's independence from England.
2 • LOCATION
Scotland is located in the northern part of the island of Great Britain. The country can be divided into three main areas. The Southern Uplands are a hilly region noted for sheep-raising. The more densely populated Central Lowlands have flatter and more fertile land. The Highlands, the northern two-thirds of the country, include lochs (lakes), glens (valleys), mountains, and numerous small islands.
Over three-fourths of Scotland's population live in the Central Lowland area. Two hundred years ago, almost half of all Scottish people lived in the Highlands. Most Scots are descended from Celtic tribes who were the original inhabitants of their land. The bloodlines of Viking, Norman, and English invaders are mixed in as well. The Highland and Lowland Scots are considered two different groups, as are mainland and island dwellers.
3 • LANGUAGE
Scotland's official language is English. It is spoken with a unique Scottish accent, or "burr," that is especially prominent in words containing "r" sounds. Scottish English (also called Scots) contains words borrowed from Gaelic (a Scottish dialect), French, Dutch, and Scandinavian languages. Its grammar sometimes differs from standard English, as in expressions like "Are you no going?" and "I'm away to bed." Gaelic is spoken as a second language by less than 2 percent of the population, mostly in the Highlands and Hebridean islands.
|U. S. English||Scots|
|don't, can't, won't||dinnae, canae, willnae|
|Scots||U. S. English|
|I'm exhausted.||Ah'm fair farfochen.|
|The child's a little||The bairn's a wee bit|
4 • FOLKLORE
The oldest Gaelic songs tell stories of warriors battling Norsemen, magic rowan (mountain ash) trees, and monstrous old women living in the sea. There is also a rich folk tradition of belief in fairies and other supernatural forces. The most famous character in Scottish folklore is the Loch Ness monster. "Nessie" is said to be a dinosaur-like creature living in a large lake. Although it has supposedly been sighted by hundreds of people, its existence has never been scientifically proven.
A popular Scottish legend tells the tale of the "wall flower." In a castle near the river Tweed, a fair maiden was held prisoner because she had promised her love to a member of a neighboring enemy clan. Her lover tried various tactics to rescue her. He finally was able to get inside the castle by pretending to be a troubadour (wandering musician). Once inside, he found the maiden and the two made a plan for her escape. She climbed out the window, and planned to climb down the wall of the castle using a silk rope. While her lover waited below to rescue her, something went wrong, as this poem relates:
Up she got upon a wall
Attempted down to slide withal;
But the silken twist untied,
She fell, and bruised, she died,
And her loving, luckless speed,
Twined her to the plant we call
Now the "Flower of the Wall."
5 • RELIGION
The country's dominant religion is the Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian sect. It is commonly known as "the Kirk," and has been Scotland's official religion since 1690. Other religions in Scotland include Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, and Methodist, as well as more modern evangelical sects. Church attendance in Scotland is very low.
6 • MAJOR HOLIDAYS
Scots celebrate the major holidays of the Christian calendar. In addition, they honor Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, on November 30, and the Scottish poet Robert Burns on Burns Night, January 25.
Another unique celebration is the Hogmanay (New Year's Eve, December 31) celebration. Until the 1960s, this holiday held more importance than Christmas (December 25). It involved the ceremony of "first footing," the custom of visiting friends, neighbors, and even strangers, in the "wee sma' hours" (early) of New Year's Day. Christmas was formerly frowned upon by the Scottish Church. It only became a public holiday in 1967. Christmas in Scotland now resembles celebrations in England and the United States, with fir trees, carols, and gift-giving.
Halloween, October 31, is also an important celebration. Like "trick-or-treaters" in the United States, Scottish "guisers" go from door to door in costumes asking for candy or money. Unlike in the United States, the guisers must perform a song or poem to earn their treat. Halloween decorations include the Scottish version of the jack-o'-lantern: a scooped-out rutabaga called a "neep lantern" ("neep" is short for turnip).
7 • RITES OF PASSAGE
Scotland is a modern, industrialized, Christian country. Many of the rites of passage that young people undergo are religious rituals. These include baptism, first communion, confirmation, and marriage. In addition, a student's progress through the educational system is often marked with graduation parties.
8 • RELATIONSHIPS
The Scottish are known for their silent and reserved manner. It is unusual for Scots to be seen holding hands, kissing, or touching in public. They tend to minimize direct expressions of enthusiasm. The handshake is less common than in other parts of Britain. It is considered unacceptable to criticize others in public, or to discuss personal problems with anyone other than a close associate. Within the household, however, family members maintain close relationships that include many "inside jokes." Scottish humor tends toward the deadpan (said with an expressionless face) and ironic (meaning the opposite of what is expressed).
9 • LIVING CONDITIONS
Most Scottish houses have a small garden. Many houses are built in rows called terraces. Homes built before World War I (1914–18) were generally made of stone. Single-story stone cottages can still be found in the Highlands as well as in some urban areas. Most newer dwellings are built of brick or concrete blocks. Slate roofs are common, and many houses are covered by a painted coating of cement. Over half of all Scots live in "council houses," low-cost housing built by local authorities. These are generally high-rise apartment complexes.
10 • FAMILY LIFE
Women have worked as laborers in the textile, jute, and fish processing industries since as far back as the nineteenth century. This work has given them both economic independence and more authority within the family. Women are increasingly entering the professions. There are nearly as many women as men in attendance at Scotland's colleges and universities. Traditionally male skilled trades such as steelmaking and mining still do not hire female employees.
Scots are legally allowed to marry by the age of sixteen. Many marry as teenagers, although marrying in the early twenties is most common. The divorce rate in Scotland, which has risen in recent years, is still low when compared with the American divorce rate.
11 • CLOTHING
People throughout the world generally picture the Scots in their famous traditional costume, the kilt. However, this skirtlike garment is generally worn only for ceremonial and formal occasions. Otherwise, most Scots wear standard Western-style clothing. Because of the cold, damp climate, Scottish clothing is usually made of heavy fabrics such as wool, including the native tweed. Each of Scotland's clans has its own tartan (or plaid), developed over the centuries. There are over 300 designs in all. Women's ceremonial costumes include tartan skirts and white blouses worn under snug, black, vestlike bodices.
12 • FOOD
The Scottish national dish is haggis. This is a sausage-like food made from chopped organ meat of a sheep or calf mixed with oatmeal and spices. It is traditionally boiled in the casing of a sheep's stomach, although today a plastic bag is often used. Scottish dietary staples include oats and potatoes (tatties). The main meal of the day is tea, served at dinnertime. However, in rural areas, the midday meal is still the main one. Typical Scottish desserts include oatcakes, shortbread, a rich fruitcake called "Dundee cake," and a New Year's specialty called "black bun."
13 • EDUCATION
The Scots are a well-educated people. Universal education has existed in their country for centuries. Scots read more newspapers than any other European people. About 95 percent of adult Scots are literate (able to read and write). The educational system in Scotland is operated separately from that in England. After seven years of primary school, Scottish children attend secondary school for six years. After that, students can attend one of Scotland's eight universities, or go on to vocational school. Great value is placed on higher education.
14 • CULTURAL HERITAGE
The Scots have a particularly distinguished tradition in the realm of literature, especially poetry and novels. Scotland's most famous poet, Robert Burns, lived and wrote in the late eighteenth century. Lord Byron (1788–1824), another Scottish poet, was born and educated in Aberdeen. Other famous writers include Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94), both writers of adventure novels. Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930), another Scot, created the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Doyle's countryman J. M. Barrie (1860–1937) wrote the famous play Peter Pan, which has delighted audiences throughout the twentieth century.
15 • EMPLOYMENT
An estimated 60 percent of Scotland's labor force is employed in service industries. Manufacturing employs 25 percent, and agriculture, forestry, and fishing each employ about 2 percent. Most manufacturing is concentrated in the Central Lowlands. Important industries include textiles, chemicals, steel, electronics, whiskey, and petroleum products. Scotland has a unique agricultural tradition, primarily in the Highlands, called crofting. Farmers live on crofts, a term that refers both to their land and their family home. They raise grains or vegetables on their own land, and raise animals communally on a larger grazing area. Today, crofting provides supplemental income but is rarely a primary source of income or food.
16 • SPORTS
The Scottish national sport is soccer (called "football"). It is associated with fierce rivalries between Catholic and Protestant teams that sometimes erupt in violence. The nation's second-most-popular sport is golf, which Scotland claims to have invented. Present-day Scotland boasts over 400 golf courses. Rugby, similar to American football, is the country's third-favorite sport. Other popular sports include tennis, lawn bowling, skiing, and curling.
17 • RECREATION
Many Scots relax after work by watching the BBC (Great Britain's government-owned television broadcasting service). Others visit local bars called "pubs" (short for "public houses"), where they eat, drink, and socialize with friends. Popular outdoor recreation includes fishing, hunting, hiking, and mountain climbing. Scottish teenagers share many interests with teenagers in other Western countries. These include popular music, clothes, and dating (according to local customs). The influence of U.S. television shows and movies is narrowing the gap between Scottish teenagers and their American peers.
18 • CRAFTS AND HOBBIES
Scottish crafts such as pottery, hand-knitting, jewelry-making, and weaving are widely practiced. Harris tweed, a densely woven wool fabric, originated on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides and is still made there.
Scotland has two main folk-song traditions: bardic compositions and work songs. Traditionally, each clan had a bard (a sort of poet/composer). The bard sang the praises of the clan and preserved its musical traditions. Bards commonly memorized as many as 350 different stories and poems. The tradition of Gaelic work songs developed as rhythmic accompaniment to such tasks as milking, harvesting, spinning, and weaving. The most famous feature of Scotland's traditional music is its national instrument, the bagpipe. It is played at weddings and other celebrations, in military marching bands, and as a hobby.
19 • SOCIAL PROBLEMS
Scotland has a high rate of alcoholism, particularly on the islands of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Scots also have the United Kingdom's highest rate of hospitalization for depression. Another problem is Scotland's dwindling population as people emigrate to England and other countries in search of better jobs. Scottish government and industry are working to create new industries to provide jobs and hopefully stem the tide of emigration.
20 • BIBLIOGRAPHY
Meek, James. The Land and People of Scotland. New York: Lippincott, 1990.
Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson. Peoples of the World: Western Europeans. Gale Research, 1993.
Scotland in Pictures. Minneapolis, Minn.: Lerner Publications Co., 1991.
British Council. [Online] Available http://www.britcoun.org/usa/, 1998.
British Information Service. United Kingdom. [Online] Available http://www.britain-info.org, 1998.
British Tourist Authority. [Online] Available http://www.visitbritain.com, 1998.
Scots / skäts/ • adj. another term for Scottish: a Scots accent. • n. the form of English used in Scotland.